Big First Half Carries Generals to 96-81 Victory over Shenandoah

Mark Lamendola '22 drives to the hoop.

LEXINGTON, Va. — The Washington and Lee men's basketball team tied a season-high with 26 assists and had 55 points in the first half en route to a 96-81 victory over Shenandoah on Wednesday at the Duchossois Tennis Center.

The Generals (13-5, 6-3 ODAC) trailed, 4-3, after two minutes of play, but then went on a 10-0 run to grab a 13-4 advantage by the 16:55 mark. During the spurt, senior forward Roy McMillan (Raleigh, N.C./Broughton) notched five points and an assist.

The Hornets (5-13, 1-8 ODAC) trimmed the deficit to 16-10 with 14:23 left in the half, but then five straight points by senior guard Devin Kearns (Cibolo, Texas/Samuel Clemens) on a three-pointer from the left wing and a layup off a pass from sophomore forward Curtis Mitchell (Chevy Chase, Md./Georgetown Prep) extended the the margin to 11 (21-10) with 13:13 remaining in the period.

Mitchell continued the run with a layup off an assist from McMillan, and then McMillan buried a jumper to push W&L in front, 25-10. Mitchell capped off the 11-0 onslaught with a fast-break dunk off a full-court feed from McMillan to stretch the margin to 27-10 with 11:45 to go until intermission.

The Blue and White extended the lead to as large as 25 (46-21), before settling for a 55-31 advantage at halftime. McMillan had 15 points, nine rebounds and five assists at the break, as the Generals totaled 17 assists and just eight turnovers.

Shenandoah slowed the game down in the second half, while forcing the Generals to turn the ball over, as SU started to whittle away the lead. Junior forward Christopher Chaney led the charge with 14 second-half points and five steals in the frame.

The Hornets eventually cut the W&L lead to nine, 83-74, with four minutes remaining in the game, but then an old-fashioned three-point play by Mitchell and a jumper by Kearns pushed the lead back to 14 (88-74) with 3:37 to go in the contest.

After Chaney buried a jumper on one end, first-year guard Mark Lamendola (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mount Lebanon) and junior guard Kevin Dennin (Severna Park, Md./Severn School) drilled back-to-back threes to extend the margin back to 18, 94-76, as the Generals held on for the 15-point victory.

W&L shot a season-high 56.1 percent (37-of-66) from the field, including at a clip of 60.5 percent (23-of-38) in the opening half. For the game, the Blue and White was 11-of-28 (39.3 percent) from long range, but just 11-of-21 (52.4 percent) from the free throw stripe. The 96 points marks a season-high for the team and is the sixth time this year the squad has eclipsed 90 points.

Shenandoah struggled from the floor, making just 29-of-74 (39.2 percent) of its attempts from the floor and 5-of-21 (23.8 percent) from beyond the arc. SU made 18-of-26 (69.2 percent) of its free throws, including 10-of-12 (83.3 percent) in the second half when it made its run.

The Generals had six players in double figures for the second time this year. McMillan led the team with 19 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. Kearns had 15 points and tied a season-best with eight assists, and sophomore guard William Brueggeman (Houston, Texas/Strake Jesuit College Prep) notched 15 points, four rebounds and four assists.

Lamendola registered 14 points, while Dennin tallied 11 points and two steals. Mitchell totaled 11 points, seven rebounds, six blocks and two steals. With the six blocks, Mitchell moved to fourth on the W&L single-season blocks list with 57.

Chaney was all over the court for the Hornets with 25 points, 12 rebounds and seven steals. First-year guard Jaylen Williams had 13 points and four rebounds and junior guard Jalyn Jarret contributed 11 points and six rebounds.

The Generals hit the road next, traveling to Emory & Henry on Saturday for a 2:00 pm game.

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